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Hockey Shrine Re-Use

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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Okay folks, I've got an adaptive re-use query for a rather interesting and unique structure. Chew on this for a bit and give me your thoughts.



Maple Leaf Gardens, home of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs for over 60 years now sits, vacant. The owners are currently in negotiations to sell the property for redevelopment. It won't be torn down to make way for another condo tower - it will be (somehow) adapted for another use - likely retail.

The only other case study I am aware of at this point is the Montreal Forum, which was converted into an entertainment facility. Does anyone out there have other examples where such large historical structures were re-used? What issues were encountered along the way, and how were they dealt with?
What happened to the Aud in Buffalo, or Boston Gardens? Chicago tore down their arena, right?

Thanks
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
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It might be difficult to find comparables for this one. I can't think of any similarly-sized arena that has been adapted. The train station in Indianapolis comes to mind. There is also one in Chicago, the Medina Temple, where I used to go to see the circus as a kid. It is not nearly as large, but I noticed it had been converted to retail.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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I don't know of any redevelopment plans for arenas that anticipate preservation of the structure. The closest major arena reuse proposal was for the US Airways arena in Landover, but I believe they later demolished it instead of reusing it. Similarly, there was talk at one point of reusing Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh (mostly by historic properties advocates), but the council voted not to make it a historic property, thereby opening the doors for demolition eventually. I believe the preliminary discussions of that site included a mass transit (light rail?) station of some type and mixed use. I think you are in new ground here, Tran... but it sounds way cool!

Edit: I believe Baltimore was considering reuse of the Memorial Arena for high tech businesses at one time, but then ended up demolishing as well. You may be able to find some plans somewhere on the internet however. I keep thinking I've heard of other cases... I'll post again if I think of more.

Edit #2: The memorial coliseum (former home of the trailblazers pre-Rose Garden), had a reuse study completed for use as a multiuse recreational facility.. It may be worth a looksy.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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18,313
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T-Man -- You know Rumpy's searching for a place to open a brewery....anybody in Canada drink beer?

Seriously, I've seen the building and think that it has lots of potential.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
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4,473
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Tranplanner said:
Maple Leaf Gardens, home of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs for over 60 years now sits, vacant. The owners are currently in negotiations to sell the property for redevelopment. It won't be torn down to make way for another condo tower - it will be (somehow) adapted for another use - likely retail.

The only other case study I am aware of at this point is the Montreal Forum, which was converted into an entertainment facility. Does anyone out there have other examples where such large historical structures were re-used? What issues were encountered along the way, and how were they dealt with?
What happened to the Aud in Buffalo

Thanks
The Aud is still there and there have been alot of ideas for its reuse, although nothing has happened yet. Currently they're in negotiations with Bass-Pro Shops to open a huge store in there, although who knows what will happen (the politicians always screw something up).
-Other ideas in the past where for it to be turned into a movie studio by local interests who were shot down by our status quo politicians. They also wanted to put a casino in it but that didn't happen (thank God).
I also know that the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority wants to put an Inter-modal Transportation center in there because rail runs underneath the Aud and it would work out for Amtrak as well as our light rail. I heard they wanted to also have Bass pro Shops included in the plan. I'll have to check.

Yes my drawing is crude.
1657Aud1.jpg
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
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I think Houston is looling for ways to redevelop the Astrodome, too. You might contact them to see where they are with their plans... I know, funny, looking at Houston for planning ideas (Sorry planners from Houston)
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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Is this all still hush hush, Tran? I would totally dig seeing plans, just because MLG has always been my Mecca ;) Let me know if you have anything digital and whether you can e-mail it.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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nerudite said:
Is this all still hush hush, Tran? I would totally dig seeing plans, just because MLG has always been my Mecca ;) Let me know if you have anything digital and whether you can e-mail it.
I was a little giddy myself when a consultant asked to sit down and discuss the proposal. As of yet, there are no firm plans - the building hasn't even officially been sold. A winning bidder has been selected, and their proposal was turn it into a grocery store.

No plans as of yet, just scoping out issues. That's why I've put out my request to the "Throbbing Brain" - to see if anyone else out there has some good examples of case studies and issues.

Here's a link to a Toronto Star Article
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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Yeah I heard that Loblaws bought it (I think they are still called IGA out here), but I'm happy to find out that the building is being preserved (well, at least the facade/roofline). When I first heard of the sale I thought they were tearing it down. Is there enough residential density around there to support such a large grocers? It seems like a pretty huge space...
 

donk

Cyburbian
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nerudite said:
Is there enough residential density around there to support such a large grocers? It seems like a pretty huge space...
It will be the most FABULOUS grocery store in the city. ;)

I've only been in the gardens a few times, I think, depending on Code issues, construction costs and market demand a weird sort of interior mall could be done. Basically hollow it out and build a new strucuture inside of it.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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I would say the area could definitely support, and needs, a major grocery store. There are multiple condo projects proceeding in the area, and it's already a pretty dense area. Donk's comment about the demographic is valid.

I can't comment on the appropriateness of the proposed use - the building is in private ownership, and the owners don't want anything in there that would compete with their new venue. It is a topic of heated debate right now across the city.

There is a ton of space in there though. I have no idea just how they plan to convert the space.
 
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Is the structure protected under historic preservations laws or anything of the sort? Although it seems like a beautiful building, what's there to stop its new owners from demolishing it?

Does Toronto, the province or Canada in general have an equivalent to the National Trust for Historic Preservation or federal legislation regarding historic structures?
 

donk

Cyburbian
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Planderella said:

Does Toronto, the province or Canada in general have an equivalent to the National Trust for Historic Preservation or federal legislation regarding historic structures?
Ontario has something similar, but it can be a finicky piece of legislation to work with and may not stop the demolition of a building, but can hold it up for a long time. (After double checking the Act I can't find the sections, it has been amended since the last time I used it. ) http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/90p13_e.htm


The Feds are working on a program and legislation as we speak. There is an existing inventory of buildings called the Canadian Inventory of Heritage Buildings (CIHB) that focuses on building built prior to 1917, so the Garden's would not be in it. The LACAC (can't remember what the acronym stands for)may also have something to say.

My favourite memory of the Gardens is that it was where the Who played their last concert. I remember watching it on TV as a kid. Sorry hockey fans
 
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ludes98

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Hopefully back to the drawing board will bring a better project. Seems like a great opportunity for multiple retail uses or a mixed use project. I wonder if a public rink could be incorporated into the plan or if it is even economically feasible.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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ludes98 said:
Hopefully back to the drawing board will bring a better project. Seems like a great opportunity for multiple retail uses or a mixed use project. I wonder if a public rink could be incorporated into the plan or if it is even economically feasible.
Not sure if a "better" project will result. The Loblaws proposal at least kept the exterior intact, with no condo towers above. IMHO, it is likely now that that will be the next incarnation - in order to make the project work from an economic standpoint, someone will propose a 50 storey tower or something sprouting out the top. As for the rink - MLSE specifically refused to deal with proposals that called for retaining the rink as they saw that as potential competition for the Air Canada Centre (the new home of The Leafs).
 

Rem

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The old Sydney Showgrounds (used for agricultural shows and special events for about 100 years) was converted to Fox Studios on the back of the low Australian dollar making offshore movie production cheaper. They have produced a few big Australian movies there like Moulin Rouge and Babe 2 as well as 'Hollywood' movies like the Star Wars prequels. Additionally there is a lot of entertainment and retail. There was a theme park but it has stopped operating and the rides replaced by more studio space.

If nothing else it would make a great study tour destination.;)
 

passdoubt

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After Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia was decomissioned in 1970, it spent the next six years as a junkyard until it was finally demolished. The city basically used the field to store waste products and other useless material until they could afford to ship them away.
 

B'lieve

Cyburbian
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Unless the Air Canada Centre will be open to the public for things like youth hockey, skating, etc. when the Leafs aren't using it, or includes a public rink, I don't see how a public rink would be comptetition. Unless I'm misunderstanding the meaning of "public rink."

I don't actually remember what the plans were for Memorial Stadium after the Ravens moved downtown, and can't seem to find any reference to them. I know the war memorial that lent the stadium its name was relocated to the new stadium, and some sort of "senior housing" is planned for the site of the old stadium.

Nerudite: IGAs still exist?! :-o I remember the one that used to be in my hometown when I was little. :D Fortunately when it was bought out, it was bought by a local grocer (I think it was the guy who had the franchise, or whatever kind of arrangement IGAs had), who changed the name but not much else. Still, I have never seen one anywhere else since, and that was years ago. :(
 

Hceux

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B'lieve said:
Nerudite: IGAs still exist?! :-o I remember the one that used to be in my hometown when I was little. :D Fortunately when it was bought out, it was bought by a local grocer (I think it was the guy who had the franchise, or whatever kind of arrangement IGAs had), who changed the name but not much else. Still, I have never seen one anywhere else since, and that was years ago. :(
Yeah, there are still IGAs around. Well, at least, they still exist in Canada. Not sure about the States.

But, you're right, many IGAs have been changing their names or else management of a particular IGA store may have changed its franchise relationship to another grocery store chain. It seems that Canada, well at least in Ontario, has been experience a lot of changing in grocery stores. I guess it's a reflection of how they're trying to tap certain demographic groups.

But, yes, this is off-topic from the Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens. Yeah, I do remember the vivid discussions in one of my classes about how whether or not the Gardens should become a giant grocery store. Too bad that the Loblaws decided to drop their idea. Boo hoo. However, Loblaws recently bought an entire mall (one of those malls that seem to becoming a dead mall) in Kingston, ON - I wonder what they're going to do with it, especially considering that there is already a Loblaws in this mall (the only purpose of this mall, really - other than being a popular bus stop to transfer buses and a Canadian Tire store).
 
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